It’s funny how I can know a lot of things on an abstract, intellectual level, but that information doesn’t really make much difference until I actually experience it myself, or for whatever reason it hits at a heart level. Maybe it’s just me. /shrug
Yesterday’s example of this is the Hellenic tradition of burning offerings that are aimed at the sky gods (as opposed to burying those for the chthonic deities). I have a crapload of logistical stuff the next few days which involve a rental car, two different airports, luggage, a plane ride, a cat, a bus, a hotel, misc. paperwork, and my day job. (Plus, the weather in the Midwest, and getting my extremely reluctant parents to pick me up at the airport, which, to hear them talk, is equivalent to enduring a root canal with no anesthesia.) In any event, I’m completely stressed out because I have no control over most of this and there are a billion things that could go wrong. And I’m already exhausted from a 2.5 week trip. So! An offering to Hermes seemed in order.
I picked Him up a chili cheeseburger (Thenea’s suggestion) and burned bits of bit in a small brazier in another friend’s backyard. Now, I’ve known for a long time that this was The Thing to Do when giving offerings to the Greek deities; and logically, it makes sense–sky gods would want their offerings in a form that would go up into the sky–but it always felt a bit odd to me. But after slicing the burger up into small bits and feeding it to the fire for five hours or so, I finally got it. Yes–that smell of burning fat and meat is delicious, and not nearly as charcoal-y as I had expected. The experience is reminiscent of summer days when you get wafts of grilled meat from a neighbor’s barbecue. It made me hungry, and I had just eaten. So, yes, Greek Gods–I get it. And now that I do, I’ll be giving you more offerings in this way in the future.
And Io Hermes! Wish me safe, secure, hassle-free, efficient, and inexpensive travels this week!